The Original Kitchen Cooperative: Straight Wooden Rolling Pin #Review #RollingPin

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I bake on a weekly basis and sometimes even twice. From baked goods that range from sweet to savory, I have come to the point where I rarely even buy baked anything from stores. When I do, I regret it. The one thing I learned over the years, is the tools you use matter. It’s not the cost but how they perform. I have a french style wooden roller that has lasted me over a decade. Simple to care for and I am one of those that if it needs a wash, a wash is something it better handle because this wipe and store idea to make it last…….well, I find it gross. Butters, fats and oils age and if your crust or dough has them, they will oxidize and go rancid on the wood. Not something I exactly wish to share with my next baked creation.

 

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Retail Price Point: $13.75 via Amazon with free shipping if you have Prime Membership.

 

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Verdict:

The straight rolling pin from The Original Kitchen Cooperative is made of 100% Beech wood. The roller arrived smooth and with zero imperfections. Has a nice weight that is balanced and easy to roll even when your pie crust is between having cold spots and softer warmer ones. It plays nice with most dough types and because it’s so smooth, it almost acts like if it had a nonstick surface, allowing the dough to softly stretch without tearing. I have used the roller and washed it and what was nice, no split wood or separations the next day, so this roller is not only fairly priced but should last with regular use. I do not have to worry about treating it softly, just as long as I wash it (never fully submerge in water), quickly dry it and then allow it to air dry on the rack before storing. The company also offers a 100% money back guarantee and that means they stand behind the quality of the products they produce. I don’t see myself needing to use the guarantee but there is something to be said about a company standing behind their products.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from The Original Kitchen Cooperative. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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X-Chef 100% Silicone Basting Brushes, 4-Pack

There are some kitchen tools you can never have enough of. Spatulas. Spoons. Bowls. And basting brushes. When I got offered the opportunity to test out a four pack of 100% food-grade silicone basting brushes from X-Chef, you better believe I said yes with a quickness! And am I ever so glad I did.

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You see, despite the advertisements to the contrary, silicone does hold scents and can transfer them between dishes. And up until recently, I’d been keeping my one smaller silicone brush especially for sweet and neutral dishes, or for egg washes, and a separate one for my savory dishes in a separate drawer so they never got confused. Now, thanks to X-Chef, my brushes can all go in the same drawer because they came in four bright colors to easily tell one from another. The clear lucite handles means I can even label them with a Sharpie if I so desire. The handles are long and sturdy, and the heads can slip right off for easy washing. And being that the silicone brushes are dishwasher safe, I can just toss them right in after use. They’re also temperature safe for foods up to 500°, so basting right out the over or right off the grill is no problem. What I especially liked was that the silicone on these brushes was softer than my other brushes, which means I no longer had to brush very slowly or just dab, because the silicone bristles won’t whip or fling marinades or sauces all over the counter, stovetop or oven door.

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As if all that wasn’t enough, X-Chef guarantees their silicone brushes with a 1-year, “No-Hassle” money back guarantee. It’s not just convenient, it’s essential to have multiples of some tools in your kitchen. A silicone basting brush in and of itself is very essential, but having a few on hand at all times will make a day’s worth of cooking and baking a little less of a mess and hassle. At $8.99 shipped from Amazon, I don’t see any reason for your kitchen to be without them!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from X-Chef.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

X-Chef Easy Flex Silicone Spatula Set

 

I cook and bake a lot, and one thing I’ve learned, aside from you can never have enough mixing bowls, is you can never have enough spatulas. I usually buy them 2 or 3 at a time, and when X-Chef offered me their 4-pack, I was soooo game. They’ve been a blessing in the kitchen, but their not without their faults.

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Silicone spatulas are ubiquitous in the kitchen, so much so that I don’t know a single person without one. And yet, there’s good ones, and bad ones, and the line that delineates them is often very easy to cross. To rigid and they won’t flex, to soft and they won’t hold. Too short and you end up with schmutz on your fingers, too long and you can’t get the fine control you need for nooks and crannies. Handle shape, build quality…It seems like I’m really overthinking this, but until you’ve used a bad one and been so frustrated you wanted to hurl it across the room, you realize I’m not just picking nits. X-Chef’s spatulas are almost there. There’s a lot to love here, too. They’re long enough, with good rigidity without being too stiff. They’re different colors, so you can essentially “color-code” them for different mixes when doing more than one dish. They’re dishwasher safe, non-stick, and heat resistant to over 500 degrees Fahrenheit. But then they sort of start to fall apart, figuratively speaking. The shape of the spatula is did not have enough curve on the end, and there was no tip for whipping up peaks or getting into corners. The handles are thin and not too ergonomic, so prolonged use will be a pain in the hand. And the palstic the handles are made from is the kind that clouds and gets brittle after a few trips through the dishwasher. I don’t know about you, but after spends a couple hours mixing and making int he kitchen, the last thing I want to do is stand there for another 30 minutes hand washing everything.

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Maybe I’m being too picky. A four pack of these X-Chef spatulas with only run you $6.99 shipped. At that price I would look at them as disposable, because they certainly aren’t going to last a very long time. So in the end, you could do much worse. You could also do a lot better. They do have a ” LIFETIME NO-HASSLE FREE-REPLACEMENT GUARANTEE!”, but when mine discolored and cracked, I asked them about it through the “contact us” potion of the website and didn’t get a response yet.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from X-Chef.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Ozeri’s GreenEarth Fresh Spin 4.24qt. Salad Spinner

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Around here we consume a lot of greens. Well, I should say that I consume a lot of greens. Hubby somtimes acts as if they might cause him some harm. But I eat more than my share, probably more than anyone I know. Kale, lettuces of all shapes and sizes, broccoli, squash…you name it, I eat it. And one thing they all have in common is a need to be washed, prepped, and stored dry. I’ve tried other brands of spinners, all of which fell far short of my beloved OXO spinner. And then Ozeri went and offered me their Swiss-designed GreenEarth Fresh Spin Salad Spinner. I may just swoon.

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With a fast-spinning ergonomic pump handle, non-slip base and table-ready BPA-Free clear bowl, this spinner has displaced my OXO and become my go-to for big heaps of lettuce. It’s size is deceptive from the pictures…It’s huge, at 4.2 quarts. Before what took me several rounds of “rinse-spin-pour-repeat” now is all done at once. The spin action also doesn’t cause the entire bowl to become unbalanced and threaten to wobble off the counter and scatter my greens to the four winds. It’s quite and only takes 2-3 pumps to achieve maximum velocity. And the brake button brings everything to an immediate halt with no issues, squeaks, squeals or noise. What I love best, and had become a major gripe with my OXO, was the spinner shaft that comes down and takes up valuable real estate inside the bowl. That’s a thing of the past with Ozeri’s GreenEarth Fresh Spin Salad Spinner. All that space in there is free to use, and use it I did.

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I never thought anything would take the place of my OXO. And yet here I am, with my OXO in a closet and My Ozeri GreenEarth Salad Spinner under my counter and waiting my next batch of green goodness. With Ozeri’s 2-year warranty and stellar record of outstanding customer service, this GreenEarth Fresh Spin Salad Spinner is going to see a lot of miles in the coming years.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ozeri.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Ozeri 5-Piece Wine Bottle Corkscrew & Accessory Set

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We go through a bit of wine here even if we hardly ever drink it. But we do cook with it several times a week and that tends to empty bottles a lot faster than you’d think. Ozeri recently sent me a product that I had no idea would be so incredibly useful, and I liked it so much I can think of a few friends and family that will be getting these as gifts in the future.

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This 5-piece set has everything needed to make a quiet picnic, or a trip to a vineyard, an absolute delight. The set includes a stainless-steel corkscrew with foil cutting knife, a drip-stop collar, a combination wine pourer/stopper, and a dedicated foil cutter. all packaged in a handsome wine-shaped package with a smart magnetic closure. It can be stored vertically on the counter or just stashed in your wine rack at home, ready to pop out and open all James Bond-style, cool and smooth.

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Awesome for entertaining, always handy, and stocked chock-a-block with tools for the aficionado of casual enthusiast alike. It’s stylish, it convenient, and Almost everything is made to last a long, long time. The only tool in the kit that I have a few reservations about long-term usability would be the dedicated foil cutter. In my experience, plastic pieces that rely on tension will, over time, break. This seems like it’s high-quality ABS plastic, so it should last for many, many years, but I’m one of those “I bought it, it should last forever” people.  Overall, it’s a tremendous value and a well made kit from a company that stands behind everything they sell 100%. I recommend this Ozeri 5-Piece Wine Bottle Corkscrew & Accessory Set to everyone who has, enjoys, or even just cooks with, wine. You’ll be glad you gave it a try!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ozeri.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Hudson Essentials Premium XL Stainless Steel Chainmail Scrubber

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Nothing beats cooking with cast iron. The even heating, the high temps, the bullet-proof nature of the iron, the flavors the sear produces…I could go on and on. If I were forced to pick something about it that I didn’t absolutely love, it’s cleaning it up. Nothing beats a burger from a cast iron grill pan. Until it dribbles fat and cheese that sizzles to a faretheewell and good luck getting off without a blowtorch or some horribly caustic acid. And that’s where Hudson’s Premium Xl Cast Iron Cleaning Chainmail Scrubber comes in.

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See, one thing about cast iron is it needs to be seasoned to be “bulletproof” cookware. Seasoning involves coating the pan, pot or dutch oven with a high-heat fat (I use lard), and baking in an over for about an hour. After that, the use of soaps or acids to clean tend to strip away the seasoning and flavors that build up on good cast iron. So, in order to clean it off completely you’re constantly starting over from square one. Unless you a have a good, large bit of chainmail around to scrub with. Think of it as a big, flat stainless steel sponge that never goes bad, falls apart, or gets covered in germs. And because it’s 316L food-grade stainless steel, it won’t rust. At 9″x 9″, it’s 40% larger than the standard 7″ x 7″, and covers the cook base of most standard 10″ pans perfectly.

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The things I did not love about this was that I tend to use a grill pan more often than my cast iron skillet. A grill pan has a raised grill, with narrow channels to carry away fats as you cook. The narrow channels are just narrow enough that the small stainless rings that make up the chain mail don’t quite fit in the channels, which means the pan I’d need it for the most doesn’t play nice with the Hudson Premium XL Chainmail Scrubber. Bummer. That’s a problem exclusive to folks like me who have a Lodge brand 12″ grill pan. All my other cast iron pieces clean up like a dream. The other is the size. It’s not a true 9″ x 9″, more like 8″ x 7″ at best. And since I don’t have a lot of experience with chain mail cleaners, I don’t know how accurate their explanation for the short measurement is. The upside is, it’s a one time cost, so no chemicals to buy, no fancy cleaners, no sponges or brushes. And Hudson guarantees it for the life of the product. So you need to decide if this is for you, but I’m a fan.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Hudson Essentials.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

PureCopper: 100% Pure Copper Mule Mugs in Smooth and Hammered Finish #PureCopper

 

 

 

 

 

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I love copper from it’s color to how the metal lasts. I was looking at these mule mugs when they became popular and knew I wanted them until I saw the price tag for just one mug! I thought I will wait it out until the price lowers and that did not work in my favor as then quality went down. I started seeing what I call “painted mugs”, that are just coated with a copper layer or some even stated “copper like” when you searched further into the description. Price kept going up and I figured I better just walk away until……….PureCopper brand offered me a set to review!

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The name says it all and it’s pure 100% solid copper! Sounds so simple when you think about it but there is always the imitators and gimmicks out there, that like cloning themselves but never as true as the real original product. I prefer to wait and afford the real item versus spending a percentage towards a purchase that will leave me unsatisfied. I can easily say that PureCopper is not only crafting beautiful copper mugs but I was more than satisfied with the set I received. You know when you imagine a purchase and sometimes it falls short? Well, this one is a purchase that you will be able to enjoy visually and also when pouring yourself a drink. It’s a Mule mug but doesn’t require a mule! You can make desserts to even as I have done, I stick it in the freezer and let is get ice cold, so it keeps everything from ice cream super cold.

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Retail Price Point: $21.97 for the hammered mule mug and $18.97 for the smooth finish mug via Amazon.

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Then comes something that I can’t overlook because presentation is a bonus and I don’t mean from the copper glistening in the light, but what PureCopper does. My mugs are beautifully shipped and they added these glossy recipe cards, plus the cutest paper clip that is also shaped like a mug! Who does that anymore? PureCopper makes any person receiving this gift just smile and I do every moment I use them and have even put them in my curio because when the sun starts setting, the rays hit those copper mugs and I end up with the most gorgeous looking light effect in that room. I don’t have to worry about wearing them out as it’s pure copper and like food, you don’t want fillers but a clean product. My copper with time will get a beautiful patina and you can choose a smooth finished mug or a hammered effect. Perfect for gifting or just rewarding yourself because the applications are there when it comes to how the metal conserves coldness. It’s not just a beauty but it serves it’s purpose and in the end this is the stuff we keep that can multitask and also be distinctive at the same time.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from PureCopper Brand.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Francois et Mimi Stainless Steel Breadbox #Review #StainlessSteelBreadBox

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I already got the opportunity to try out some bedsheets from Francois et Mimi, and they were generous enough to also send a stainless steel bread box. And while I genuinely appreciate their efforts and generosity, I can’t recommend this breadbox, and I’ll tell you exactly why.

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To start, it arrived damaged. Lest you think the Postal Service is to blame (and they frequently are), this time the shipping box was pristine. So it was boxed and shipped with scratches, a dent, and a cattywampus lid that doesn’t close properly. Another problem? The very thin steel means it’s easily bent back into something resembling straight. The spot welds holding the lid to the sides actually have dimples and discoloration. Oh, and rust. Three drop marks on the top I had to buff out with Barkeeper’s Friend. Nice quality control there.

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The problems don’t end there, sadly. The capacity, as shown, barely holds a bag of small bagels. A loaf of bread would probably not fit. The rubber feet on the bottom are glued and fell off almost immediately. Which, coupled with the aforementioned thin gauge steel, would lead to copious scratches all over your counters.

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I hate being less than positive with products provided to me for free for reviews, but I have to consider the people that may buy these products based on my recommendation. I have to ask myself would I have been happy spending $19.99 on this, and the answer is “no”. The company also took forever to respond and then a long time to ship. I can’t, by any stretch of the imagination, recommend this product. Assuming you get an undamaged one, I can imagine it would look nice on the counter.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Francois et Mimi.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Ozeri’s Artesio Soft Touch Electric Grinder and Mill #Review

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I cook. A lot. Hubby grills. A lot. One thing we both use in great quantities is black pepper. Whole peppercorns make for a robust, flavor profile with almost anything. One thing we both hate? Constant grinding. It’ll wear out your wrists and forearms quicker than you’d think. So when I got a chance to take Ozeri’s Artesio Soft Touch Electric Pepper Mill for a spin, I was thrilled. Let me tell, you, friend, it’s a good thing.

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Whether you want a powder fine grind for mashed potatoes, or a big, chunky grind for a grilled pork loin, Ozeri’s Artesio Pepper Mill has you covered. Thanks to the Infinitely adjustable ceramic grinding mechanism, the choice is yours. It is also covered in a non-slip, soft grip texture that means it’ll never slip through your fingers. Powered by 4 AA batteries (sadly, not included. Insert sad smiley here) it has enough power for peppercorns, spices or herbs, even dry sea salts. The clear reservoir holds plenty of anything and is perfect for keeping tabs on when you need a refill.

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One month in and we have yet to experience a single issue with Ozeri’s Artesio Grinder. No battery changes yet for us, and we’ve used it almost daily. But rest assured, Ozeri backs every product they sell with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. But, to be honest, I’ve had several Ozeri products, from food scales, blood pressure monitors, frothers and bathroom scales, I’ve yet to have a problem with a single product. Give Ozeri’s Artesio Soft Touch Electric Grinder a try. You’ll be happy you did.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ozeri.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

Yumms! Premium Burger Press 3-Piece Kit #Review #yumms

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My husband worked one summer in the butcher’s department of our local warehouse store. The stories he came home with nearly turned me off ground beef entirely. Luckily that was also the year I got the meat grinder attachment for my stand mixer. And after years of forming uneven disc shaped lumps of meat, we stumbled upon a cheap plastic contraption at a national home goods chain and we both saw little lights go on over each other’s heads. But alas, it was not meant to be in our home long, as it was made poorly, warped slightly after it’s first trip through the dishwasher, and getting the smashed beef out of the various crevasses was a nightmare.

Enter Yumms! 3-piece Burger Press, made from durable, easy-to-clean BPA free plastic. You may wonder what the third piece is for, so I’ll tell you. It’s a Lifter. Anyone who’s ever tried to make hamburger patties at home will tell you horror stories of stuck patties, pried out with whatever flattish utensil was in arms reach, looking like a wolverine got to ’em first. With Yumms!, it’s perfect patties every time. Beef, chicken, turkey, even sausage, there’s plenty of uses for this guy. Salmon patties for the grill? Done. Meat loaf patties for a big family dinner? Done. The limit for these is just you imagination. Yes, I’m even talking veggie burgers. Don’t judge me.

Retail Price Point: $15.95 via Amazon

The handle is sturdy, with a non slip coating on it, a base to catch juices, and non-slip foot pads so you don’t have to watch tonight’s dinner skitter down the counter because you put a little too much English into pressing after a long day at work. Then just drop all three pieces into the top rack of the dishwasher and you’re done. I love my burger press because I can preseason or pre-stuff my burgers, put some parchment squares between them, and wrap ’em up good and tight to freeze for the future. Talk about convenient! So small it stores away easily and doesn’t take a ton of shelf space either. Even if you buy your ground beef from the store, or don’t want to use it for hamburgers, I’ve found that making evenly weighted patties is also the best way to have ground beef ready to go for sauces, stews, chili, shepherd’s pie, or whatever recipe calls for ground meats. I simply patty the meat out in 1/4 lb patties and freeze them together 4 at a time. So this Yumms! Burger press is for much, much more than just for hamburgers. It’s built well enough to use for years and years. And Yumms! also backs this press up with a lifetime (yes, LIFETIME) 100% satisfaction guarantee! What’s not to like?

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Yumms! .  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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